Writing as a Hostile Act: Joan Didion

Portrait of Joan Didion ©1972 Julian Wasser

Also applies to painting . . . . 

INT:  You have said that writing is a hostile act; I have always wanted to ask you why.

JDIt's hostile in that you're trying to make somebody see something the way you see it, trying to impose your idea, your picture. It's hostile to try to wrench around someone else's mind that way. Quite often you want to tell somebody your dream, your nightmare. Well, nobody wants to hear about someone else's dream, good or bad; nobody wants to walk around with it. The writer is always tricking the reader into listening to the dream.


From "The Paris Review"/The Art of Fiction/Number 71/